Facilitating human growth and empowerment to live well within in our landscapes
I am an academic with a strong connection to rural landscapes. I see people as part of, not separate from, landscapes, and all my research and teaching is framed by this perspective.
I began my professional career helping farmers reclaim drifting sand dunes in the South Australian Mallee, then supported community groups in Victoria with activities as diverse as managing their creek frontages to maintain populations of Trout Cod, to fostering group management skills to maintain Landcare groups. A common thread throughout my agency employment was working with, and learning from, the people who manage the land. Indeed, as I learned more about environmental management I came to appreciate that humans are part of a complex, dynamic social-ecosystem.
Since commencing employment at CSU in 2004 both my teaching and research have centred on predominantly social aspects of this social-ecosystem. My research interests include regional scale adaptive management, and the related topics of participatory approaches and social learning. I am particularly interested in qualitative research approaches, including participatory and collaborative research which empowers communities. I also employ analysis of social discourse to better understand and assist landscape management in its broadest sense.
All this background is used in my current role as Program lead for the social/ economic aspects of the Soil CRC, and other research projects in Australia and Pakistan.
PhD, Charles Sturt University
MNatRes, University of New England
BAgSci, Melbourne University